The SPFL has today agreed to implement an urgent package of measures – and to the postponement of a limited number of Scottish Premiership fixtures – following another breach of protocols.
The decision was taken by the SPFL, following discussion with Ministers, after Celtic player Boli Bolingoli allegedly failed to self-isolate for the required 14 day quarantine period after returning from Spain. The player apparently did not declare this trip to the club and continued to break the resumption of performance sport protocols by taking part in training and playing in the club’s game against Kilmarnock FC on Sunday.
This follows the earlier breach of protocol involving players from Aberdeen.
Matches involving Aberdeen and Celtic this midweek, and the match between the two clubs scheduled for this weekend – three games in total – will now be postponed.
Celtic were due to play St Mirren tomorrow whilst Aberdeen were due to face Hamilton Academical.
In addition: The SPFL has agreed to put an immediate player education programme in place to ensure no further rule breaks occur and players and staff are fully aware of their responsibilities
The SPFL has also agreed to put in place punitive measures that can be implemented so they can directly take action against players in the event of further rule breaches
Minister for Sport Joe FitzPatrick said: “A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes during these past months to create the protocols and testing regimes that have allowed top level professional football in Scotland to resume, without putting the public or others at unnecessary risk.
“It is up to the football authorities, clubs and individuals within those clubs to take responsibility to ensure that these protocols are followed rigorously. Unfortunately, over the past few weeks, we have seen multiple examples where that hasn’t happened.
“This latest example indicates that the current arrangements are not working as intended, and so clearly additional steps now need to be taken to ensure that the necessity of strict compliance with the rules is fully and properly understood.”
National Clinical Director Jason Leitch said: “I share the disappointment of many fans at this setback but this is another example which unfortunately demonstrates that the current system is not working as intended and does not give me the confidence I need that the required protocols are being followed.
“The football authorities and clubs must be able to provide the Scottish Government with the confidence required that everyone involved in the sport understands the absolute necessity of adhering rigorously to the guidelines in place so that football does not present an unnecessary risk to public health more generally.”